Friday, June 27, 2014

A Tale about Detoxing

This week the hubby and I have really been focusing on our health. Since the arrival of our tot, we have discussed our eating habits and our overall health which led us to acknowledge that we need to direct our lifestyle down a healthier path (especially after living off fast food during the majority of our kitchen remodel). So, in order to jump start these healthier versions of ourselves, we decided I talked Jake into doing Dr. Oz's 3-Day Detox.

A breakdown of the ingredients and drinks are shown in the image below. Basically, you're supposed to have 4 "drinks" per day along with vitamins and a cup of green tea every morning and a detox bath at night. Right off the bat, Jake refused to do the detox baths (something about how his jolly green giant man body wouldn't fit into our bath tubs - whatever). Monday night after work I headed to the store to pick up our supplies. Let me just go ahead and warn you in advance (in case you're thinking to yourself that you, too, would like to rid your body of all of its toxic properties) that this cleanse is NOT cheap. Or maybe it was just me. I did get pretty distracted in the bath aisle, and I may or may not have bought a few too many different kinds of epsom salts, essential oils, and other smell good items. Clearly, I am just in this for the baths.

More information about the Dr. Oz 3-Day Detox can be found here

Wednesday morning came, and I woke up extra early to make our morning smoothies. I was excited (mostly because I had the day off work) and was ready to get this show on the road! I threw all the ingredients in the blender, mixed them up, and then put in my spoon for an official taste test. Not bad - a little tart for my taste - but the fact that I had to chew the flax seed nearly made me gag. It was like someone had mixed sand into a perfectly good smoothie. Jake didn't say much as he drank his so I took that to mean that he was less than impressed. Since he was off to take Tay to the babysitter and then to work and I had an appointment with my chiropractor (my old lady hip was out again), we took our green tea to go. It was yummmmy. I was secretly hoping that I could just drink the tea instead of the shakes, but after some Googling I found out, you can't.

After I was adjusted, I headed home to "lie flat and ice" (per the doc's instructions). Jake came home early for lunch which was great because we were both starving. Okay, not starving but we were both ready to ingest something - anything at this point. A friend of mine who had recently done this detox advised me to juice (rather than blend) the lunch drink. So, I dug out my juicer and added the celery, cucumber, kale, apple, pineapple, and lime. I transferred that juice into the blender and added the almond milk, coconut oil, and a handful of ice cubes (because we quickly learned from the breakfast juice that these drinks are not good warm). After blending it all up we were amazed at how much we ended up with. Each of us had a full 20 oz. tumbler, I sent another full 20 oz. tumbler with Jake to work, and I had a large mason jar full. And it was God-awful-terrible. We both had to choke it down. We were nearly detoured from this experience completely after the lunch drink. But, Jake had to get back to work, and I was ready for a long nap (my hip was nice and sore after all the prepping and cleaning up for our lunch drink disaster).

Post nap, I decided to get up and prep the rest of our drinks for the remainder of the detox. I had to return to work the next day, and there was no way I would be able to prep all the fruits & veggies, make our breakfast and lunch drinks, and clean everything up before work. So I chopped and measured the fruits & veggies for each drink and put them into freezer bags. Then I labeled the bags with the additional ingredients that needed to be added prior to throwing them in the blender. My advice - DO THIS! Take an hour to prep your food and then freeze it. The drinks taste so much better when they are cold! I cannot even emphasize this enough. Warm juice drinks are disgusting. I just had a flashback to my juicing days where many a warm juice was drank, and then I threw up a little in my mouth. So gross.

That evening, I was still pretty sore, so I decided to take the detox bath prior to having my dinner drink. The bath was, of course, wonderful. I could definitely do a detox that consisted only of bathing and drinking green tea. My sore and achy muscles were in heaven for 30 minutes while Jake must've been in pure hell as Taylor screamed the majority of the time I was in the tub. Meh, better him than me! ;c )

My bliss quickly ended upon preparation of the dinner drink as I was super hungry and worried that dinner might be just as nasty as lunch. Thankfully, it wasn't. In fact, it was the best-tasting drink we had had so far! My faith was renewed. I could do this. Day 1 down and only two more to go.

Day 2 started much better thanks to my prep the night before. I woke up 30 minutes early but didn't need near that much time to throw my frozen bag of goodies in the blender, add some flax seed and almond butter and hit the switch. And while the hot water boiled for our tea, I was able to spend a few extra minutes playing with my sweet baby (rather than hitting the snooze button for the fifth time). I felt good (which could be because I laid in bed all day prior and took two naps which hasn't happened!), but that quickly subsided a few hours into my workday when a horrible headache presented itself. The lunch drink (which was better today since I cut the amount of kale and cucumber in half) made my headache better, but I still felt out of it. I kept telling myself, You're halfway done. Just hang in there.

So, I sucked it up and made it through the remainder of the work day. When I arrived home, my headache suddenly got worse and my throat started to hurt. At this point, I knew that my symptoms were no longer cause by the detox. I was sick. So, the hubby and I decided to stop the drinks and eat real food. We both devoured some Chipotle, I downed some Nyquil, and we both went to bed early.

I woke up this morning with a horrible cold and my throat was on fire. Awesome. Needless to say, the detox was over. We gave it our best shot but, unfortunately, my sickness won out in the end. You win, germs. We've both agreed to keep taking the vitamins and have at least one drink a day going forward. And, of course, I'm still game for the tea and baths (surprise, surprise). Overall, I wish we could've continued, but I'm not heartbroken that it's over. I'm sure I'll try it again at some point but, for now, all I want to do is rest and drown myself in Nyquil and Airborne.

I have noted a few warnings, disclaimers, and some advice (if you'd call it that) for any of you thinking about trying this detox yourself. Although our tale didn't end successfully, that doesn't mean yours won't. The silver ling is that Jake lost four pounds and I lost three. In a day and a half. Awesome.


*  I am not a health professional and I have never claimed to be one. This post is merely our experience. All statements written herein are meant for entertainment purposes only; however, if you would like to do the detox yourself, please consider my advice. But don't throw dog poo on my doorstep if you don't like it. It's just advice. Take it with a grain of salt, huh?

*  When I said that I was "starving" on day 1, I wasn't actually hungry (but I didn't realize it at the time). My body was just DETOXING all of the crap out of my system making me think I was hungry. Don't listen to it, you'll be fine. Just don't cave.

*  If you get a hunger sensation, drink more water. It really does help. However, that will cause you to have to pee. 

*  And you will pee. A lot. Like every half hour a lot. I told Jake this was as close as he was ever going to get to understanding pregnancy. 

*  You will immediately crave whatever delicious food product they are advertising on every commercial. I spent the first day at home lying in bed which proved to be a huge mistake. I needed human interaction and distraction. The TV was not my friend. I seriously considered punching it at one point.

*  If you are like me, you may learn that all the benefits in the world will not make you enjoy the taste of a green smoothie. But you can force yourself to choke it down while reminding yourself how good you're being to your body. Seriously, that's the only way I got through lunch every day.

*  Don't be afraid to modify your drinks a bit. I follow rules to the T, but even I couldn't follow these instructions. The lunch drink makes entirely too much and sometimes I just needed to add more berries. Do what you need to in order to be able to drink these beverages (aside from putting a Kit-Kat in them, Jake). 

* I was never hungry enough in the afternoon to drink the "snacks". Perhaps that's because it took me so long to choke down the lunch drink or perhaps its because I was too lazy to make a third drink every morning. Regardless, I never had them and I never felt like I needed one.

Best of luck to any of you that are willing to try the detox yourself. I want to know your results! Oh, and please feel free to share any tips/ticks that you find helpful (in case I decide to give this a whirl again in the future). Cheers!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Taylor's Nursery

As you probably know by now, I'm not a huge fan of pink. I'll take it in small amounts here and there, but the color in itself is not my favorite. So, when we found out we were having a girl, I immediately started thinking of every color but pink to do the nursery in.

One day, while Pinteresting my little heart out, I stumbled across this beautiful nursery. The robin's egg blue and various shades of purple combined with clean whites was enough to make my heart explode. It was perfect! I had found my inspiration for Baby E's room.

As with most things in my life, I wanted to make this room unique. I like to find inspirational pieces or themes when decorating and then add my own twist. And since I wasn't about to fork over thousands of dollars for a Pottery Barn Kids crib and bedding set, I enlisted my mother, the master seamstress (despite what she may think), for help. She made the white ruffle curtain and matching crib skirt and, after I picked out the pattern and fabric, she crafted Tay's beautiful quilt (which is, by far, my favorite piece in the room).

Until this weekend, the wall above Tay's crib remained bare. For the longest time, I just couldn't decide what to put there, until I stumbled across this garland tutorial. While I got to work on the garland, hubby created this 20x30 standout board at work. We adhered the photo using Command picture strips (quite possibly the best invention ever) and hung the garland with white thumbtacks. I am in love with this giant print above her bed, and I'm so happy with how the tissue paper garland turned out. For some reason (probably due to the poor lighting since I chose the worst time of day to take these photos), the tissue paper looks much darker than it actually is. It's quite vibrant in person and the colors match the quilt perfectly!

The dresser (which also doubled as a changing table until Taylor took a nose dive off of it last week) and side table were Craigslist finds. Jake sanded, painted, and changed out the knobs on both pieces. This task proved to be much more time intensive than we had initially thought, but both pieces are so well made that I'm glad we spent the extra time and effort to preserve them. Ha! I say "we" when we all know that Jake did 95% of the work. I literally found the furniture and picked out the paint color and knobs (so basically, I did my part).

The luxe frames hanging above the dresser are the most-asked about pieces in the room. My husband works for a photography lab and, luckily, we were able to snag a few of these for cheap! I love how they add just the right amount of flare to the room. But I should probably think about switching out those maternity pics for something a little more up-to-date.

The glider was the hardest piece to find and definitely our biggest splurge. My advice? Spend your money where it matters most. For us, it was this chair. I can't tell you how many hours we've spent in this thing feeding Taylor or rocking her when she doesn't feel good. I love the fact that it glides and swivels, and the ottoman has been a lifesaver for our backs. And the best part is that the crushed silver and white piping are neutral enough that we'll likely be able to use it in our next nursery (although no one's thinking about that yet). I should note that the purple crochet blanket on the back of the glider was also made by my mother. She's a woman of many talents. Guess this apple fell way far from that tree.

The first actual purchase I made was the rug. With white walls, white furniture, and light carpet, I wanted the rug to be the focal point of the room. I needed a nice pop of color to tie everything together. My source of inspiration used a PBK rug (which was completely out of my budget). So, I did a little research and found this rug on Amazon for less than half of the price of the PBK one. It really does pay to shop around! At first, I was nervous about putting a wool rug in a baby's bedroom, but *knock on wood* it has held up great and remained stain free thus far. We'll see how well it holds up once the toddler stage is in full effect.

Since organization is key in my world, I threw in a few baskets, hanging book shelves (they're the infamous Ikea picture ledges), and a cube organizer to contain the endless amounts of toys and books our tot has accumulated. Since she is now mobile, Taylor's new favorite game is taking every book off the shelves and hiding them around the house. As you can imagine, my OCD just loves finding random books behind my bathroom door.

And what would a nursery post be without a few photos of its owner? Our poor babe was sick all day yesterday, so this impromptu photo shoot was the last thing she wanted to do.

 Even Sophie can't make it better.

This room has been the stage for so many wonderful memories. From rocking her to sleep for the first time when she was a few days old to the first night she slept in her own room (where her dad was a nervous wreck and I had the best sleep I'd had in months) and then to just last week when she pulled herself up in the crib for the first time. Life with her is just better - in every single way - and I can't wait to create many more memories with her in this space.

Links to (most of) the items in Taylor's nursery can be found on my Pinterest board here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Queen of Reviews

So, I started writing this post about a week ago (I'll randomly think of topics, start extremely rough drafts, and then complete the rest of the content later), but this morning I stumbled upon a message from a friend who came across a review I had written about a product (a diaper bag, which I loooooove, to be exact). Too funny. And too coincidental. So here I am, finalizing this post, because it's obviously what I should be writing about today. Thanks for the motivation, Jena!

Anyhoo, onto the actual content...

I love reviews. Whoever decided to allow people the ability to voice their opinions about the products they have purchased is a genius. And it has made my life so much easier.

You see, I am one of those people that has to read the reviews before I can buy a product. I don't know why. I guess I think it will help me make a better informed decision. In reality, I probably just need other people to tell me that I'm not wasting my money. Regardless, it's a habit that I've fallen into.

I should note that there an abundance of reviews out there that simply don't count. I'm talking about the people who whine about how long it took to put something together or how their shirt shrank when they dried it (even though the tag said not to) or how they ordered a blue rug when they really wanted white. I immediately identify these folks as idiots and their opinions are discarded. Because, let's face it, there are always going to be people who find something to complain about.

But I'm looking for real. I need to know that this diaper bag that I'm spending a small fortune on isn't going to crap out on me in three months. Because I certainly don't have the time nor money to go out and buy a new one if it does.

I need facts.

How's the quality? 
Is it durable? 
Does it hold up well after washing?

I need more info than just the two sentences the manufacturer has decided to supply me with (which never seems to be enough). And, I've found that, more times than not, the people won't steer me wrong.

This habit of mine really took flight when I began registering for baby products. Let me tell you, that can be a very overwhelming task (especially to someone who's completely foreign to all things baby). But I've learned that there are so many other mommas out there (just like myself) who rely on the opinions of others before making their purchases. It's the only way to survive, because Lord knows I don't have the time or energy to research each and every one of these products on my own. And I'm not too keen on wasting my money or returning things to the store. I mean, why is it so hard for stores to understand that people either lose gift receipts or never get them in the first place? And more so, do they actually think it's possible that I held onto the receipt during the course of the eight months that it took for me to return the item? Sorry, lady, but I'm not that on top of my game. The 'Game of Returns' always ends the same. I get store credit and the hubby finds something dumb to spend it on.

In order to "pay it forward" or "pass the buck" (or whatever saying you'd like to insert here), I've started leaving a review for nearly every online purchase I make, which amounts to about 75% of all of my purchases. (I mean, why put on pants and go to the store when you can order the same thing online and get it with free shipping in two days? Thank you, Amazon Prime. Finally, a company who understands me.)

And my reviewing isn't limited to just baby items. I review everything - clothes, shoes, home decor, cleaning products, toiletries, etc., etc., etc. I just feel that people should know what they're getting into before spending their hard earned money on something.

Perhaps I should become a professional reviewer.

Wait. Is that even a real thing?

Maybe I'll Google it later.

So, how do you feel about reviews? Do you ever read them or rely on them before making a purchase? Am I the only crazy lady out there scouring the review section and clinging to strangers' opinions?


But at least I won't have to stand at that darn Customer Service counter again.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's in a Job?

I tend to get bored with routine - the same thing day-in and day-out. The monotony can be so overwhelming at times that I feel like I have to make a change right then and there or I may explode. I used to feel this way about all aspects of my life, but, lately, I just have this feeling in regards to my job.

It's just that. It's a job. I don't love it. I don't hate it. Is there something better out there? I'm sure of it. And about every six months or so, I decide I've had enough of this same old song-and-dance and I'll attempt to break out and find a new career path. But the first sign of disappointment or rejection typically sends me back to my comfort zone. And then I start justifying why I should just stay where I am: the pay is decent, I have a great boss, I've been here long enough that I'm finally starting to accrue some decent PTO. Blah, blah, friggin blah.

But it isn't long before I begin to feel anxious again.

I get that security is something we are all looking for and, as my logical-minded parents always say, "if you're lucky enough to find a good, steady job, you should stick with it." Clearly, my parents aren't much on dreaming.

But shouldn't a job that you spend 1/4 of your life doing bring some sort of joy? Shouldn't it fulfill some sort of desire or dream? Sitting at a desk for nine hours a day paying other people's bills and proofreading documents doesn't exactly make my heart flutter, and, most days, it's just downright boring. The only thrill I encounter is our daily gathering around the water cooler (yes, this actually happens in the work place) where I can have some real, human interaction (most of my days are spent communicating via e-mail and telephone, so seeing a person - other than my boss - is quite arousing). Sad, I know.

Yet I've realized that the majority of adults are faced with this same problem. Life happens and we become so reliant upon a steady paycheck that we sacrifice our dreams for the ability to just get by.

I am constantly going back and forth.

Should I look for a new job? 
What if I leave and my new job is worse than the one I currently have? 
What if I don't like my new coworkers? 

Then that typically leads to:

What if I just started my own business? 
What would I even do? 
How does a sole business owner pay taxes? 
Would I even be profitable? 
Can we afford not to be profitable while I figure it all out? 

These are the things that I lay awake at night thinking about. Over. And over. And over. It's enough to make a person go insane.

So I stay in the same place, on the same road to nowhere. Don't get me wrong, my job is fulfilling in many ways. I still feel satisfaction after completing a big project or seeing my hard work unveiled right before my eyes, but there is never a real passion. That driving force that compels people to follow their dreams just isn't there.

It's like I'm stuck.

And part of the problem is that I'm not really sure where I want to be or what I want to do. I've always viewed "work" as molding your talents and interests into something that can turn a profit. That's the point, isn't it? To love what you do and do what you love? *insert Alan Jackson song here*

I guess I just haven't figured my path out yet. Or maybe I never will. Maybe my lot in life is to push paperwork and sit behind this desk.

Or maybe I just need to be patient.

I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Happy First Father's Day!

This guy is the best. I am constantly amazed at how far he has come. Honestly, if you met him 10 years ago, you wouldn't even recognize him today (and I'm sure his long-time friends would attest to this). He is the sweetest, most caring, generous, hard working man. He reminds me of my own father in so many ways, and that in itself is the highest compliment I could ever give! He is so gentle and loving with both Taylor and myself, always concerned with our well being above his own. Rarely does he tell me no or refuse to do something (no matter how off-the-wall it may be). He has great style and will always offer his honest opinion when I need it the most. He is unbelievably creative and talented. He can master almost anything within three tries (a trait that I often envy), and he will not finish a task unless it is perfect.

He lets me sleep in on the weekends so that he can have alone time with Taylor (secretly I thinks he does it just to get the good snuggles during her morning nap!). He loves to make extravagant breakfasts on the weekends, and, after, he likes to sit and talk while we drink our coffee. He looks at Taylor and I with so much love and sincerity that it makes my heart ache. He is always pushing me to be my best and encouraging me to follow my dreams. 

Rarely will you find him in a bad mood, and rarely will you hear him express worry about anything. He is the definition of "laid back", so down-to-Earth and mellow. He balances out my high-strung, compulsiveness perfectly. He is one of a kind, and I am so very proud of the husband and father he has become!

I hope you had the best first Father's Day ever, babe!! Sorry you had to spend it with my crazy family... ;c )

Weekend Update

Our daycare was closed last week so our babysitter could regain her sanity have some time off. Since my husband and I both have full-time jobs with only the smallest amount of PTO (paid time off), we needed to find an interim sitter - and quick! Thankfully, my mom is a high school guidance counselor who just so happened to finish her last day of work the Friday before our daycare was to close. Talk about good timing! So, my parents and Tay split the week between their house and ours. And during their time together, our tot learned how to crawl, clap, and climb stairs. Ummm what?!? She's like a completely different baby! I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it.

Note Bambi in the right-hand corner of the photo. That thing is my dad's prize possession and Taylor LOVES it!

Friday I was scheduled to be off work (my parents had to return home so that they could watch my sister's twins that evening), and I was determined to make the most of the day. Prior to leaving, Mom and I made a trip to JoAnn Fabric to pick up some material for a blanket I'm going to make for Taylor. I've owned my sewing machine for two years and have yet to even turn the thing on. In my defense, I have had a lot going on - we redid an entire house and I made a baby. But now that things are slowing down (HA!), I'm going to become an amazing seamstress. I just know it. ;c )

Two hours later, we returned home to find my dad installing a baby gate (which was appropriate since he's the one who taught her how to climb the stairs). But seriously, my parents are the best. I think they both worked the entire time they stayed at our house! Jake and I couldn't be more appreciative of all they do for us.

Shortly thereafter, Tay and I said goodbye to Granny and Papa, grabbed our shopping list, and headed out to finish our errands. Our first stop was Target (of course) where Taylor rode in the cart for the first time ever! I was beaming over how big she looked sitting in the cart all by herself, and, as you can see, she was less than enthused.

Nap time (and a fussy baby) ended our errands early, so we headed home. Taylor decided she only wanted to nap sitting in her high chair (such a weird child), so, while she dozed off, I made some tissue paper garland for her nursery. You can find the tutorial here.

Once the hubby finishes a giant canvas print (that I think will be absolutely perfect in the space) and we hang the garland, it will finally be complete! It is my absolute favorite room in our house, and I can't wait to do an entire post about it!

Friday night we put the tot to bed early and had some much-needed one on one time. Life gets so busy and can be so stressful that Jake and I often forget to spend time together as a couple. But after a long week of house guests and straying from our routine, the hubby and I needed to relax and unwind.

And that's exactly what we did.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A New Name. A Fresh Look.

When I started this blog, I was unsure as to what it would be about, but it has quickly (and unintentionally) developed a family theme. These days, my life tends to revolve around the hubby and our tot, so it only makes sense that the majority of my posts be about the daily events of our lives. I plan to write about other topics here and there (as I see fit), but, for the most part, this blog will continue to encompass our family and its antics.

Now, you may be curious as to the term "Nobredge"...

Allow me to provide a little back story.

After Jake and I got engaged, I was fearful of losing my last name. Being the youngest of two daughters, I was sad to think that my family name would end after we were wed. So, I came up with the name Nobredge which is a hybrid of my maiden name and my married name. And no, I wasn't trying to be cool like the celebrities - I genuinely wanted Jake and I to take this last name. So much so that we gave it to our dog.

{Charles Moose Nobredge in all his glory.}

But as you can imagine, Jake was quick to dismiss the idea. So, I became an Eldredge and Nobredge will end its reign with Charlie.

Well that ends TODAY, my friends, because the blog has received a new name! After Googling "A Different Perspective", I realized that there were a ton of blogs with that name. So, I decided to choose something with a unique twist. After failed attempts at asking others for their opinions (you know who you are...), I decided it was time to take the task into my own hands. While weeding through my top favorites, I found myself going back to Nobredge time and time again. And I realized it's perfect.  It incorporates a little bit of myself and a little bit of my husband and together those two make up our baby girl. She has her daddy's looks (hello, spitting image of him!) and her momma's sass. Just the way I like it!

I hope you enjoy the new name, the new header, and, of course, the content. I'll try to keep it real and fresh. And if you have any suggested topics, please feel free to comment on the blog or on Facebook. I could always use a little help in that department!

And if you just can't get enough sweet baby smiles in your life, you can find me on Instagram at jaeldredge. A sneak preview is below!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Time Apart

I can count on one hand the number of times I have been apart from our baby girl (not including the 9 hours she spends at daycare Monday-Friday). The first time was when we attended a joint 30th birthday party for my husband & best friend when Taylor was only six weeks old. Had I not spent a vast amount of time and money planning said party, I never would've left the house. But how could I say no to two of the most important people in my life? My parents kept Taylor at our house, I squeezed my post-baby body into a sheer black number, and off to the party we went. What I hadn't anticipated was that all anyone would want to talk about was our baby and my journey through motherhood thus far. It was great but also a constant reminder of just how much I missed her. Needless to say, I was more than willing to leave when Jake suggested we cut out early (even though we both knew she was at home asleep).

The second time we hired a babysitter (which just so happened to be our full-time sitter's daughter - and one of the sweetest girls I've ever met) and went to see a friend of Jake's comedy routine when Tay was six months old. I was nervous, of course, being that we were leaving our baby in the hands of a teenager, but we were able to enjoy a quiet sushi dinner and some much-needed laughs with friends. And at the end of the night, I was more than eager to return home to our sleeping baby.

The third time was just a few weeks ago when I ventured out for ladies' night with a few of my closest friends. We had appetizers and cocktails at the new rooftop bar followed by German beer and homemade bretzels (which were to die for) at a German pub topped off with a nightcap at one of our favorite rooftop patios. It was the first time I had been out with just the girls since 2012 - and it was long overdue. But again, I was anxious to get home to see my girl.

This weekend marked the fourth occasion that I have been away from our tot. It also marked the first time I have ever been away from her overnight.  It was a long and busy weekend that consisted of me attending a wedding in my hometown then leaving Taylor with my parents overnight to attend a reception of a different wedding in a town about an hour away. Trust me when I say that it took everything I had to leave her. Had the couple not been two of our closest friends and flown to Jamaica to attend our wedding, I honestly don't know if I would've gone. But, I did and it was one of the absolute best times that I've had in years.

Casey & Kristin - your wedding reception was the bomb and we had an awesome time 
(thanks in large part to the giant flask)! ;c )

Our high from Saturday night's festivities was deflated yesterday when the hubby and I had to say goodbye and leave Taylor with my parents for a couple of days (her daycare being closed this week has forced us to expedite her first extended stay at grandma and grandpa's house). I have been building up to this moment for the past eight months, but pulling out of my parents' driveway last night without the sound of my girl yammering in the backseat was hard to bear. And I may or may not have shed a tear during the long drive home.

Needless to say, I miss her.  I will probably even take the route to her babysitter's house after work strictly out of habit. And I know that our house just won't feel the same tonight without her there. But, as many of my friends reminded me this weekend, the fact that I miss her so is indicative as to the type of mother that I am. What a sweet perspective on an otherwise lousy situation!

I know that our time apart is necessary. Taylor needs to spend time with other people that love her as much as we do. And as a mother, I need to learn to let her do things on her own. This is the first of many experiences to come in which I won't always be there to protect her. Being a mother is a struggle and, most days, I just try to keep my head above water.

But I love it. I love how it has changed me for the better. And I love how it continues to challenge me (even if it stresses me to my core and makes me worry more than I ever thought possible).

And nothing will ever compare to the sight of her sweet smile first thing in the morning (even if it's accompanied by a hangover).

She makes my world go round.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Great Weekend (Eventually)

Our weekend was what you may call a "two part-er".

It started off with a long and tumultuous Friday night that consisted of a screaming baby and me with a near migraine. It all began with a few squeals during bath time and then led to a full on meltdown around 11:00 (just as Jake and I were getting to the really good part of our movie). Said meltdown would subside every couple of hours, just long enough for me to get in bed, get comfy, and start to doze off. The end result was me rocking Taylor to sleep for the first time in her entire life. {It's not that I never wanted to rock her to sleep before, but she never needed it. Why start a bad habit if it's unnecessary?} So, needless to say, I had a long and exhausting night. Thankfully, Jake let me sleep in the next morning (since he slept like a dream while I dealt with screaming baby all night), and I was able to catch up on a little bit of sleep. Unfortunately, Saturday was work day in our house which consisted of me completely reorganizing both pantries (the new and the old - both of which I am completely in love with) and cleaning the entire house while Jake filled nail holes, painted trim, and crossed off 20 other small tasks that needed to be done. We were both wiped come mid-afternoon, but, once Taylor finally laid down for a nap, we got a second wind and decided to get out of the house. A Target run and a trip to Old Navy brought Taylor some much needed new threads (this girl needs to STOP growing already), and with the savings we got by using my Cartwheel app and Redcard (love, love, love both, by the way), we decided to *gasp* go out to dinner.

Now, I know that dining out is not that big deal, but it has become so for us. Before we had Taylor, we dined out all the time. Many pre-baby nights were spent feasting on appetizers and downing beers on patios, but now it's much easier to just eat at home or get take out. Well, it turns out that our tot is actually quite the awesome dinner companion. Girlfriend was the center of attention and laughed and played the entire time.

I am constantly underestimating this child.

Here she is having a gay old time throwing her hands in the air like she just don't care!

After dinner, we headed home to start the nighttime routine (which Jake is currently trying to make up a song about but all of his attempts thus far have been utter failures), and wouldn't you know Taylor slept TWELVE solid hours Saturday night. I woke up in a panic at 9:00 until I realized that we were all still in bed. Thank you, sweet baby. Momma and Daddy both needed that.

Since we were all well rested (and had all of the housework finished), we took full advantage of the beautiful weather and had a full on Sunday Funday for the first time in....well, forever. We went for a swim in the backyard and spent the afternoon laying out, eating chips and guac, and drinking the most delicious agave beers. Seriously, Blue Moon, yummm.

If you're thinking she's sleeping here, you'd be wrong. She fought her nap for as long as humanely possible. Tay didn't want to miss out on any of the fun, and I don't blame her one bit. But, like all good things, our fun came to an end. Daddy broke out his secret weapon and finally wore her down.

It was a great weekend spent with my most favorite people. I love it when we are able to stay home and just spend time together as a family. 

My heart is so full, and we are so blessed.